When Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, the first bit of new Star Wars we got was not a film but an animated series. Helmed by George Lucas protégé Dave Filoni, Rebels told the story of the start of the Rebel Alliance from the perspective of a single cell. This series and the characters they introduced quickly became fan favorites. And, unlike The Clone Wars, which only just got a premiere date for its final season, Filoni was able to end Rebels on his own terms. A new rumor suggests that he may get to continue the story on his own terms, too. It’s been reported that Star Wars Rebels will get a Disney+ sequel series as soon as 2020.
The show ran for four seasons on Disney XD. Of all the Star Wars properties trying to, it most captured the spirit of the original trilogy. It also served as a kind of bridge from the prequel era to the original trilogy era. Many characters in The Clone Wars, from Maul to Ahsoka to the clone Captain Rex, were able to see their stories completed. Yet, the series ended on a major cliffhanger. If you’ve not seen Star Wars Rebels, bookmark this, watch it, then come back to learn about the possible Disney+ sequel series. It’s a great show that shocks and thrills, but we’re going to have to spoil it to report this news.
Why Do Fans Want a Sequel Series for Star Wars Rebels on Disney+?
Image via Disney XD
The animated series that followed The Clone Wars was both a sequel series, and its own thing. Yet, unlike its predecessor, the series reached its intended endpoint. The Jedi Kanan Jarrus sacrificed himself, and his padawan Ezra Bridger seemed to do the same. Yet, while Kanan vanished in a ball of fire, Ezra (with the help of some hyperspace-traveling whale-squids called Purgils) disappeared into the Unknown Regions. Tagging along with him was Thrawn, the fan-favorite expanded universe character re-canonized by Disney. Ahsoka, who vanished in the series, showed up all dressed in white, so she and Sabine Wren could find the lost Ezra. This is what the sequel series to Star Wars Rebels would be about, and a new rumor says it could hit Disney+ later this year.
The report comes from amateur Star Wars vloggers who go by Kessel Run Transmissions. They claim to have had a source that broke several scoops later confirmed by official announcement. So, they decided to “run with” this story because they believe their sources are credible. They say that in late 2020 a sequel series to Star Wars Rebels is slated to appear on Disney+.
“Resistance is winding down this year. The show will star Ahsoka and Sabine – again, another given, but we have confirmation of that – and we’ve heard throughout the months that Filioni is also, of course Dave Filoni, attached to an animated series. So, we’re assuming it’s this one but we have no confirmation.”
They go on to say that they have not heard anything about Ezra or Thrawn being a part of the series, though it’s a safe guess to assume they will be. (Though it’s possible that Star Wars Rebels could get two Disney+ sequel series telling a single story. One focuses on Ahsoka and Sabine’s journey, while the other could focus on Thrawn and Ezra in the Unknown Regions. On streaming services, the rules of network or cable TV don’t apply anymore. They could spin off every character from Rebels or The Clone Wars, if they wanted to.
Of course, the real question is if this “leak” is credible.
Even If This Leak Isn’t Credible, It’s a Very Good Guess About What’s Coming
Image via screengrab
So, is this leak credible? Now that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is out, Lucasfilm is ready to move forward. And, because of the backlash from fans about The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, they might enjoy fans turning their attention to television. It would give the film side space to figure out their next move, while delivering fans the Star Wars content that makes them happy. So, what this leak has going for it is that since Rebels deliberately ended on a cliffhanger, this story is certainly coming at some point.
Against this leak’s credibility is the statement about Dave Filoni. Despite co-executive producing The Mandalorian and directing (and acting in) discrete episodes, he’s in charge of all of Star Wars animation. Put another way, he’s not “attached” to an animated series, he’s in charge of all of them. The way they present the leak, it’s as if they don’t know this very public information.
The truly questionable part is the 2020 release date for the Rebels sequel series, because Disney+ is pretty flush with Star Wars projects. Season 2 of The Mandalorian is on the way. The final season of The Clone Wars is imminent. And we’ve also got a Cassian Andor series in the works as well. With Filoni calling the shots for the animation side of Star Wars, returning to his favorite characters makes sense. Still, he would have had to have been working on The Mandalorian, the final season of The Clone Wars, and this Star Wars Rebels sequel series (all for Disney+, too) at the same time to hit a 2020 release date. That doesn’t make it impossible, but it does worry me that the series, if in the works at all, is only in the pre-production phase.
They’d Better Make a Sequel Series to Rebels Eventually
While we can’t say this leak is 100 percent credible, we can say we hope it is. Star Wars Rebels was a truly great series. Not only did it capture the look, the sound, the feel of the original trilogy, it also captured its heart. The characters were a found family who went around the galaxy doing heroic things. It was sometimes silly (as the video above shows). Sometimes it featured thrilling action, including Darth Vader kicking ass. Other times, the series got deeply philosophical about the nature of the Force. Essentially, it’s the sort of thing that all ultra-passionate Star Wars fans can get behind. The current animated series, ending this year, Star Wars Resistance does very few of these things. (To be fair, the latter series is aimed at a much, much younger audience.)
So, in order to fill the void left by Rebels, a new animated series seems like a good idea. And, fans naturally want to see more of Ahsoka, Sabine, and the other characters from the series. What a delightful surprise it would be to see them again in 2020.
What do you think? Do you want a sequel series for Star Wars Rebels on Disney+, and do you think this leak is true? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Featured image via Disney XD
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.